Black Mirror season 3(open spoilers)

Just watched 4 and 5. I thought 4 was absolutely beautiful. A genuinely touching love story, brilliantly written, filmed, and acted (btw - could any of you tell the actress who played Kelly was English? I couldn’t.) that was thought provoking, meaningful, uplifting and moving. I was honestly blown away by it, and I think it’s definitely the best episode of the season so far.

Episode 5 was…interesting. It seems, on a first viewing, that there are a ton of potential plot holes but i’ve had this before with Black Mirror and often I find my reservations disappear on a second viewing. I’ll leave this one a couple of weeks and watch it again.

Gonna do episode 6 tonight, but here’s how I’d rate them so far (best to worst):

  1. Ep. 4 - San Junipero: Amazing. Works on so many different levels, and one of the best hours of TV I’ve ever seen.

  2. Ep. 3 - Shut Up and Dance: Riveting from start to finish. Disturbingly plausible and brutally uncompromising in its exploration of nihilism and dehumanisation. Probably the most disturbing episode of Black Mirror ever after White Bear from season 2.

  3. Ep. 1 - Nosedive: Thought-provoking and hilarious. A great start to the series.

  4. Ep. 5 - Men Against Fire: Still not sure what to think about this one, but I really loved the premise and the ambiguity of the ending. Gonna watch it again.

  5. Ep. 2 - Play test - Great fun, with a couple of genuinely effective jumpy bits, but I didn’t really find it thought-provoking in the same way as the others. I enjoyed it a lot, but it’s pretty much a straight-up horror with a mordantly ironic punchline. Just out of interest, how many references to real video games did you spot? I counted at least half a dozen :slight_smile:

(Do we need to use spoilers? The subject line is clear that there will be open spoilers.)

Maybe I just missed the news, but I’m not aware of anyone being forced to do things like rob a bank or fight to the death.

One thing I don’t get; they had the video of him masturbating, which is certainly embarrassing, but that doesn’t prove what he was looking at. They can claim anything they want, and even include the pictures, but there’d be no evidence that their claims are real or that the pictures are what he was looking at.

If he had just told them to fuck-off right at the start, he would at least have had some deniability, but of course his reaction was emotional rather than logical, and he had no idea at the start what path they were leading him down.

I had the same thought. But perhaps they also had his IP and search records? He was very protective of his laptop with his sister, maybe he also had kiddie porn on his drive?

But even so, how is that evidence unless corroborated by the FBI (or whatever the UK equivalent)? He’d have a window to destroy any evidence. And plausible deniability that it was planted by hackers. Although, the video of him jerking off, just at that, would be a pretty horrible thing to suffer for anybody.

I think it comes down to not knowing what path they were leading him down. Delivering a cake wasn’t too big a deal, and he let himself be bullied into robbing the bank. At that point for all he knew, they had video of him entering and leaving the bank. Not to mention that those nearly transparent sunglasses were a terrible choice for a disguise.

Given the amount of thought the hackers put into the mechanics of their scheme, it’s reasonable to assume they also put some thought into the psychology of their victims. They may have had access to the computers of dozens of pedophiles but specifically chose Luke because he was weak and unlikely to stand up to them.

Failing that, I’d imagine the police have ways of knowing whether or not files have been put on a computer by its owner or by a hacker. By sending out the video (and, presumably, the pics) to the police and telling them where they could arrest Luke - who, lest we forget, was battered, bloodied, and bruised after a fight to the death - the hackers certainly gave the cops probable cause to confiscate his laptop and find out. Even if Luke destroyed the laptop, I’d imagine the police would still have been able to get information about his usage from his ISP.

But it didn’t appear that they targeted him over time. Them getting into his particular computer was pure happenstance. His sister downloaded malware and he then used a fake cleaner that gave the hackers access and, I assume, his camera was then monitored and automatically activated when there was motion, and then caught him masturbating. It all seemed to happen over a short period of time.

Sometime in 2017. I think they already made the episodes, they just haven’t released them yet.

Good points on Ep. 3.

Spoilers ahead on Ep. 2…
So, I have a soft-spot for stories like these; one where you can’t rely on reality as soon as they’re immersed. I figured it was going to be more about the Inception-like layers of reality than it was more about actually being scary. And, in the end, I feel it was.

I also love the idea of relative-time in virtual reality. That that whole night happened in .04 seconds is always a trippy thing to think about.

The only real plot-holes I can think of here, however, is that upon re-emergence from the first layer, she says, “Only 1 second…” after extracting his mushroom. Then, in the real reality, she later reports less than half a second. If everything is conjured by his own mind, how would he know about this aspect of in-game accelerated time?


Well, I guess I’ll call my mom back in the mean time… you never know what could happen if you don’t…

Episode 5 disturbed me. I don’t think it’s necessarily a new story, but it was graphic. I was going to recommend the show to my father, a Vietnam vet, but I’m afraid Episode 5 may be too emotional. He loves Netflix, so he may run across it on his own though.

I know he’s making the next six, but I had not heard they had already been made. Is this true?

By the way, here is a fun side bit. Here is Charlie Brooker, the creator and writer of Black Mirror, doing his 2014 song.

Outdated a bit by now, but still fun:

Reasons to be fearful 2014

And if you don’t mind a few months late, here is all of his 2015 wipe, well worth it.

Jodie Foster has just been announced as directing one of the episodes, so probably not.

Bear Mccreary, one of the planet’s finest composers, composed the music for episode 2. No idea if it is any good(watching it likely tonight), but he was a good get for the show.

I must be weird. It seems like everyone else here really liked episode 2, but I found it boring and predictable. The “is it real yet or are we still in VR” trope has already been done to death. I guess it’s just me.

I was under the impression they made all 12. Perhaps I’m wrong.

I didn’t know until I read your post, but it’s certainly the most memorable score for me so far.

It was the weakest of the six. Maybe tied with ep 5. The is it real or is it vr wears on me. I half expected him to have some sort of token that helped him tell.

5 was probably the second weakest.

But I think by far the weakest of the entire series was “The Waldo Moment”.

None of that is meant as criticism of Brooker. When he’s good, he’s very good, and no one can be that good 100% of the time.

Your mention of a token makes me think of something. He had a safe word that was supposed to let him out of the situation and back into reality. The word was “stop”. He used it and they didn’t respect that and let him out.

I absolutely loved the Men and Fire one. I found it scary realistic. I’d hold off on your Vietnam Vet dad if you’re hesitant. It really made me think back to my time in Iraq-mainly, the moment when he sees the psych after he killed the Roaches and he’s being congratulated for letting training kick in. It reminded me of my existential crisis I had in March of 2015 over actions during my last deployment in March of 2008.